According to a report from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Pittsburgh Steelers won’t make an outside hire to replace Joey Porter. Instead, as they floated earlier this month, Keith Butler will take over Porter’s duties.
From the PPG:
“The Steelers are not going to hire a replacement for former outside linebackers coach Joey Porter and will instead have defensive coordinator Keith Butler assume the role in addition to his current duties, according to sources.”
Butler will still retain his title as defensive coordinator and operate the same as he did last year, according to the Post-Gazette. They also note defensive line coach Karl Dunbar works closely with the outside linebackers already.
Porter was the first member of the Steelers’ coaching staff to be let go, the team officially not renewing his contract early this month. He was one of two non-renewals/firings made this offseason. Running backs James Saxon was also let go by the team. Eddie Faulkner was hired to replace him. Other coaching changes included promoting Shaun Sarrett to offensive line coach after the team lost Mike Munchak, who took the same position in Denver after failing to be selected as their new head coach. They also hired Teryl Austin as an assistant in the secondary, splitting the group with Tom Bradley, hired last year.
Butler has spent most of his Steelers’ career as their linebackers coach, successfully molding the likes of James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, and Lawrence Timmons, so asking him to coach the position again is a logical fit. It’s also another sign of Mike Tomlin’s growing influence on the defensive playcalling. It’ll be interesting to see if Butler will be the man holding onto the defensive playcall sheet in 2019. Art Rooney II recently stated Butler called the majority of the plays last year.